Posts Tagged ‘teaching’

Photo CC by Takuya Goro on Flickr

A self-help guide to becoming a composer

In the first part of this article, I talked about some of the problems with studying composition in academia, and I offered some alternative ways that composers might cultivate their craft more effectively (and probably less expensively too). Here, I’m providing a sort of Top 10 list of life lessons for composers. Realizing that you have no reason whatsoever to listen to my advice, I’m trying to couch this in terms of wisdom I have received from others or that I can back up somehow, with attribution when possible. This is by no means comprehensive, but these are definitely issues that I think every composer needs to internalize for themselves in one way or the other. (more…)

Photo CC by Takuya Goro on Flickr

The challenges of learning composition in academia

I’ve always said that I learned despite my education and not because of it, and after my master’s degree I decided to put my money where my mouth was and not pursue a PhD—much to my relief, the commissions and composing continued anyway. A few months ago I read a great article in Slate by William Pannapacker that really struck home for me. The basic premise was not that new: universities are making themselves irrelevant in the humanities, arts, and sciences. What was refreshing, however, was that this wasn’t an anti-intellectual rant, it was just an honest examination of what higher education as an institution is trying to do and how it thinks it should fit into society. So what if your goal is to be the best composer possible and to have your music heard by other people who are interested in similar types of music? Should you get a degree in composition? (more…)

Apr 2011
Quatuor Bozzini Composers Kitchen
Montréal, Canada
Workshop and residency with the string quartet. Development and performance of new work.
Jan–Mar 2010
JUNO Awards, Classical Composition of the Year Category
Sep 2009–present
Consultant and Web Writer
San Francisco Contemporary Music Players
Developing and implementing strategies for audience building. Involving graduate students from San Francisco–area music departments in volunteer publicity activities for the ensemble. Writing interviews.
Jul 2009
Composition Fellow
Chamber Music Conference and Composers’ Forum of the East
Bennington VT, USA
By invitation. Duties include composing a work for amateur musicians and coaching the ensemble.
Feb 2009
orkest de ereprijs Young Composers Meeting
Apeldoorn, the Netherlands
Winner of the 2009 competition. Wrote a piece for the ensemble, participated in masterclasses.
Artistic Director
Recycled 80s Live
Conceived and organized the creation of a concert-length, amplified piece for nightclubs based on quotations of ‘80s pop songs, including composition of the score, hiring of musicians, arranging for performances, and creating audio–video support materials.
Nov–Dec 2009
Banff Centre Fall Creative Music Residency
Banff, Canada
Sep–Dec 2007
Koninklijk Conservatorium Residency
the Hague, the Netherlands
Professional development residency and composition masterclasses with Martijn Padding.
Aug 2007
Domaine Forget Academy New Music Seminar
St-Irénée QC, Canada
Participated in masterclasses. Rehearsals and performance with the Nouvel ensemble moderne.
Feb 2007
Arditti Quartet Residency, UC San Diego Visiting Artist Program
San Diego, USA
Composed a piece for the Arditti Quartet. Rehearsals, recording, and masterclasses with the quartet.
Teaching Assistant
University of California, San Diego
Preparation: Three-month, intensive pedagogy seminar on teaching critical reading and writing to undergraduates.
Duties: Attending lectures and meetings with professors, creating lesson plans based on course reading, teaching classes, holding office hours, helping students develop research papers, and grading written assignments and exams.
Classes Taught: (Music) MUS1B Music Theory, MUS12 Intro to Opera, MUS4 Introduction to Western Music History, LTEN159 Popular Music of the ‘60s; (World Literature) MMW2 The Great Classical Traditions, MMW3 The Medieval Heritage.
Composer in Residence
Ensemble contemporain de Montréal Génération 2006
Montréal, Canada
Wrote a piece for the ensemble, gave a masterclass on my music at the École de musique Vincent d’Indy, rehearsals with student musicians, workshop and rehearsals with the ensemble, cross-Canada tour.
Aug 2005
Tapestry New Opera Works Composer–Librettist Laboratory
Toronto, Canada
Composition of four short opera scenes with four librettists, daily masterclasses and discussions, rehearsals with performers, performances.
Sep 2004–Jan 2005
University of Toronto Contemporary Opera Showcase Programme
Toronto, Canada
Only undergraduate student invited to participate. Wrote a chamber opera for U of T students, rehearsed with the singers and ensemble, held meetings with the music director.
Spring 2004
Artistic Director, Organizer
University of Toronto – Harvard Composition Exchange
Organized a student-run exchange between composition students at both universities. Curated a concert of student works.
Spring 2004
Artistic Director, Organizer
Curated a concert of new music for saxophone in Toronto. Responsible for finding performers, composing a new piece, making programming decisions for other repertoire, and publicizing the concert.
Summer 2002
Artistic Director, Organizer
Curated a concert of new music for student composers at the University of Alberta. Responsible for finding performers, composing a new piece, making programming decisions for other repertoire, and publicizing the concert.
Private music instructor in percussion, composition, music theory, and history.